Canine arthritis – age, causes, symptoms and treatment for Buckinghamshire dogs
Although most common in senior dogs, did you know that canine arthritis can affect dogs of all ages?
Milton Keynes Vets’ team of experienced veterinary surgeons treat pets with arthritis every week and have put together this guide to help pet owners understand when they should intervene with veterinary attention.
Take our canine health assessment to see if your dog may be suffering from arthritis.
We’re also highlighting that September is Pet Pain Awareness Month and the ideal time to start monitoring your pet’s comfort levels.
What is canine arthritis?
Our Veterinary Surgeon Rory Burke explains that canine osteoarthritis, commonly known as arthritis, is a degenerative condition that unfortunately has no cure. It causes the cartilage within your dog’s joints to deteriorate – this cartilage acts as cushioning between their bones so, when this cushioning becomes worn, it causes them pain as their joints move.
Canine arthritis is known to affect mostly older dogs; however, some younger dogs can suffer too. It is worth noting that most dog breeds become senior between the ages of 5 and 9 years old so you may start to notice signs of arthritis earlier than you may expect.
Spotting signs of arthritis in your dog
Some of the common signs of arthritis you may notice in your dog include limping, stiffness, and changes in mobility, demeanour and behaviour.
Download our health assessment quiz to work out if your dog may be showing signs of arthritis.
If it appears so, book an appointment with Rory or any of Milton Keynes Vets’ experienced vets as soon as possible. Your vet will perform a physical examination, discuss what symptoms you have seen your dog exhibit, review their medical history and then possibly organise further diagnostic testing to ascertain how advanced the arthritis has become.
How will the vet treat your dog’s arthritis?
- Physical therapy – your vet may prescribe complementary therapies to help alleviate your dog’s pain. Hydrotherapy, acupuncture, laser therapy, gentle massage and different range-of-motion exercises can all help to improve your pet’s mobility and comfort levels.
- Medications – these will help to control your dog’s pain. Our vets may prescribe non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
- Weight management – a balanced diet and regular exercise tailored to your dog’s needs will help to maintain a healthy weight, in turn reducing the stress on their joints. Low-impact exercises can help maintain muscle strength and joint flexibility.
- Supplements – your vet may recommend certain supplements to help support your pet’s joint health. Book an appointment to chat to them about what to look for in a supplement and how it could benefit your dog.
- Home management – ensuring your dog has a supportive bed and ramps to access rooms with stairs can help to relieve their joint pressure. Non-slip rugs and flooring can also help, as can mobility aids. Talk to our vets for more advice.
Booking your dog in at Milton Keynes Vets regularly as they get older will help to keep on top of their healthcare and provide the support they need for their twilight years. With just a few changes, you could help your arthritic dog maintain a healthy lifestyle and remain comfortable.
Download our health assessment quiz today and help your dog battle arthritis.